What Is The Lesson of 911 as It Relates to Native Black Americans?

By Noble Johns

WASHINGTON (BNW) —What is the lesson for Native Black Americans as it relates to 911? While this tragedy shocked and terrified most in our country, we as Blacks in this country have to look deep within our souls and asked and important question: what is the lesson for us in this attack on America?

If there is a lesson to be gained from all the suffering in our country, it is that our destiny as Native Black Americans is inextricably tied to the destiny of the United States of America. In other words, when their ass is on the line, our ass is on the line because the terrorists who hate this country so and who are out to kill all whites, will take us out as well. Don't forget that many innocent Native Black Americans died in this bullshit!

In trying to support this country in their struggle against people who are trying to killed them for reasons we as Blacks can never understand. As a result, it is only reasonable that Native Black Americans should have a say in how our country conducts itself around the world, when what they do put us in harms way.

In this new reality of American life, Bush can’t call all the shots when Blacks got to do all the fighting. In choosing his words about war, President Bush is using increasingly tough language as he burnishes his image as commander in chief and braces Americans for a long, brutish struggle against terrorism.

In the first hours of the crisis, Bush called terrorists who attacked America ``those folks,'' a soft construction that caused White House aides to wince. Now he doesn't mince words about ``those barbarians.''

``Acts of war'' became ``We're at war,'' and prime suspect is no longer good enough to describe Osama bin Laden.
The president now wants his man, ``dead or alive.''

Advisers say the evolution of Bush's rhetoric reflects mounting anger among the public, progress in the investigation and, perhaps, the approach of a first strike. The people are solidly behind him, but their patience might be tested if Bush doesn't act as quickly as they like — or as tough as he talks.

``He is trying to strike the balance between getting people ready for imminent action but at the same time getting people ready for developments that could last for over a year,'' said Republican consultant Ed Gillespie, a former Bush campaign adviser.

In the first hours of the crisis, bouncing between military bases in Louisiana and Nebraska, Bush told Americans he would mount an investigation to ``find those folks'' who committed the atrocity.

That night, in a prime-time address nearly 12 hours after the attacks, Bush called the attackers mass murderers. By Saturday, gathered with his war council at the Camp David presidential retreat, he was calling the terrorists a ``group of barbarians.''

As the investigation intensified on bin Laden, so did Bush's threats.

``If he thinks he can hide and run from the United States and our allies, he will be sorely mistaken,'' the president said Saturday.

Visiting the crash-scarred Pentagon two days later, the president suggested he had cowboy-style justice in store for the Saudi dissident.

``There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said: `Wanted, dead or alive.'''

White House counselor Karen Hughes, who drafts many of Bush's speeches, said he gave the dead-or-alive line a trial run during a telephone call Sunday with Mexican President Vicente Fox.
Bush's description of the crisis has evolved, too.

His prime-time address called it a ``deliberate and deadly terrorist act.'' That was too soft for Republican conservatives, who wanted a declaration of war.

Hughes said Bush deliberately avoided the word war because he felt his main job was to reassure and calm Americans.

The next morning, as Hughes began to prepare the president for a photo opportunity, Bush said, ``Forget all that. We've got to focus on the big picture here. We need to prepare the country for what lies ahead.''

Meeting with his Cabinet moments later, Bush called the attacks ``acts of war.'' He sought and won authority from Congress later in the week to use military force and said point-blank Saturday: ``We're at war.''

Bush initially avoided any characterization of how the United States would respond, saying at a Louisiana Air Force base that America would ``pass this test.'' He didn't say how or with what.
He used slang and salty language to show stiffer resolve as the week progressed. He vowed to ``rout out and whip'' terrorism one day, ``rid the world of evil'' another and, finally, ``smoke them out of their holes.''

His rhetoric soared Tuesday as he praised rescuers in Washington and New York, declaring America unbowed by tragedy.

``We will not be terrorized so that our hearts are hardened,'' Bush said. ``Nobody can threaten this country. Oh, they may be able to bomb buildings and obviously disrupt lives, but we're too great a nation to allow the evildoers to affect our soul and our spirit.''

With his steady evolution of language, the president also is systematically bracing Americans for the sacrifices they may face. In his weekly radio address Saturday, Bush said the war ``will not be short ... will not be easy.''

At a Pentagon war council Monday, he suggested that U.S. forces probably will suffer casualties, and he tried to explain why: ``Freedom has a cost.''

Aides say Bush or his aides will speak even more bluntly about casualties as the U.S. response nears.

Hughes gave Bush credit for some of his more memorable lines, showing reporters notes that he slipped to her during high-stakes meetings.

``This is an enemy that runs and hides,'' Bush scrawled on a note he gave Hughes in the Oval Office last week. ``but it won't be able to hide forever.''

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